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ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group (TSWEIG) at the 2018 ALA Midwinter

Please join the ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group (TSWEIG) at the 2018 ALA Midwinter in Denver, CO.


Date and time: February 12, 2018 (Monday), 1:00-2:30 PM

Location: Colorado Convention Center, Room 304, Denver, CO


If We Can, You Can! (Pre-recorded)

By Jessalyn Zoom, Library of Congress

The History and Military Science Section responsible for cataloging copyright and Electronic Cataloging In Publication monographs at the Library of Congress saw steady increase in production in the last three years.  The section staff achieved the milestone each year with fewer professional librarians than previous years.  The presenter will share her experience of developing efficient workflows, utilizing staff’s strengths and skill sets, and developing staff members and expanding their horizon.  The presenter is convinced that becoming a subject expert herself has been helpful to properly guide her staff members during the work process and ensure the quality of the work.



Simply visualizing technical services infrastructure using draw.io

By Gina Solares, University of San Francisco

Our libraries operate within a complex and interconnected technical environment. Mapping your technical services infrastructure can help staff see how their work is connected and can help you identify areas of weakness or inefficiency. I will discuss how Gleeson Library at the University of San Francisco used a free online diagram software, draw.io, to create a simple visual chart of acquisitions, cataloging, and systems infrastructure. This chart was then used to highlight budget needs, technical challenges, and work dependencies in communication with staff in and outside of technical services.



The (workflow) map is not the territory

By Liz Woolcott & Robert Heaton, Utah State University Libraries

Utah State University’s Technical Services Division engaged in workflow mapping with a set of clear purposes in mind: justify upcoming changes to the division’s structure, make improvements to processes, and open up communication across departments. We successfully engaged staff across the division in creating flowcharts of 44 major processes but were less successful in commuting those collaborations into an infrastructure for ongoing process improvements. The technical work of standardizing symbols, using mapping software, and forming cross-department groups was an important aspect of the initiative but not the most difficult one. In this process, we had to get vulnerable, looking critically at our own communication styles, organizational culture, and unit structures, including opening these up to others’ critiques. We share some of the lessons we learned in relation to bringing the map back to reality, putting the resulting documents to work in trainings, refining existing processes, making organizational changes, communicating with stakeholders, and evaluating current and potential services.



Automation of creating Korean records for orders

By Hyoungbae Lee, Princeton University

Hyoungbae Lee will introduce a streamlined workflow to make the acquisition process of Korean materials easy and time-saving, using AutoIt Macro Language, which is available for free, and Microsoft Excel plugin, which is also available for most office environment. It is important to enter accurate bibliographic information for each title, even though minimal, at the time of ordering while the orders from abroad stay pending for 2-3 months. From the perspective of technical services, on the other hand, it takes much time and effort 1) to collect appropriate bibliographic information, 2) to perform romanization according to ALA-LC rules, and 3) to generate MARC records out of the gathered information. It is often difficult to obtain both quality and efficiency at the same time, but developing automation tools for these processes can be a good solution. The automation tools to be introduced will include three modules that can be run just with several mouse clicks, when properly set up: 1) a module to collect bibliographic information from the web browser into Excel spreadsheet, 2) a module to romanize the Korean text on Excel, and 3) a module to convert the Excel document into mrc file.